Real Madrid legend Guti has expressed his belief that the Liga leaders will never sign Erling Haaland if they fail to arrange a summer deal for the Borussia Dortmund star.
Madrid are one of several top clubs chasing Haaland’s signature ahead of the summer transfer window.
It was reported that the 21-year-old is second on the Blancos’ list of targets after Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, and Guti is hopeful that they can push a deal over the line.
The former Madrid midfielder feels there is only a very small window of opportunity for his old club to land Haaland, as he told El Chiringuito: “Mbappe inspires enthusiasm among all of us, not just at Real Madrid. It’s very important for La Liga that he comes.
“And if Haaland can come, all the better. If they don’t sign Haaland now, they will never sign him. Because then he’ll go to another big club and it will be difficult to sign him.”
Should Haaland indeed end up at Santiago Bernabeu later this year, Guti feels his presence will help Madrid manage the minutes of veteran forward Karim Benzema, who turned 34 in December.
“Benzema is great but look at the age he is,” he added. “Hopefully he can hold out longer, but he’s his age and if you can spare him in games and use Haaland instead, all the better.”
Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have also been linked with Haaland over the past few months.
The Etihad Stadium has been mooted as the most likely next destination for the Norwegian, with it reported that the Premier League champions have already offered him a deal to become the highest-paid player in English football.
Haaland is under contract at Dortmund until 2024, but reportedly has a €75 million (£63m/$83m) release clause that will remain active until the end of April.